The planning permit: execution

Last modified:

Thursday 31 October 2019

Display

The commune will send you, at the same time as the permit, a permit issue notice (FR). This notice must be:

  • displayed on the building at least 8 days before the opening of the site or before starting the works for which the permit has been issued, and must remain there for the duration of the latter

  • displayed so as it can be easily read, at the property line and the neighbouring public road, parallel to the latter and at a height of 1.50m, on a fence or on a signpost.

  • maintained in a perfect state of visibility and readability for the duration of its display.

Suspension

When you have received the permit, you cannot use it immediately. You need to wait for 20 days, during which time the region's delegated official checks whether the permit has been issued in accordance with current laws and regulations, and that his instructions have been followed. He may also exercise his right of suspension (FR).

In case of suspension, the government may decide to withdraw the planning permit within 60 days. The permit holder may be heard if requested, In this case, the procedure is extended by 15 days. If no decision is made in this period, the suspension is lifted and the permit can be executed.

Expiry and extension

The planning permit has a validity period of two years. In other words, your permit expires if you have not started a significant proportion of the works within two years of its issue.

However, you can request a one-year extension, called a continuance. The latter must be requested at least two months before the expiry of the two-year validity period. The extension may them be renewed annually if the applicant can justify that he has not been able to use his permit due to a case of force majeure or a cancellation appeal lodged with the Council of State has been made against his permit and has not yet received a ruling.

An interruption to the works lasting more than one year also leads to expiry of the permit.

Permit validity period

Once implemented, a planning permit has an unlimited validity period.

This means that the purpose indicated on the permit remains valid until a new planning permit replaces the approved purpose, even if just for part of the property.

You may apply for a new permit when planning acts or works subject to a planning permit.

The validity period of the planning permit is limited - to between 1 year and 9 years - for, for example:

  • the placing of publicity devices and signs
  • the deposit of one or more used vehicles, scrap, materials or waste
  • temporary acts and works required to execute a site
  • the placing of publicity on site sheeting and advertising vinyls, etc.

Taxes

Some communes charge taxes for the issue of a planning permit. For more information, see the Brussels-Capital regional website

Planning permission charges

By means of planning permission charges, the issuing authority can require the party applying for a planning permit to meet certain obligations or to pay a fee to fund infrastructure costs/needs generated by the project concerned.

As an example, the construction of an office building leads to transport requirements for the employees working there. Generally speaking, the construction of new buildings results in infrastructure requirements (roads, connections, public transport, etc.) and public services (crèches, schools, hospitals, etc.).  Planning permission charges are used to help the public authority pay for these.

Some planning permission charges are mandatory, while others are optional.

Which activities are concerned?

Planning permits concerning a series of large projects are obligatorily subject to planning permission charges from 21 December 2013. These are projects which exceed the following thresholds:

Offices, activities producing immaterial goods, parliamentary assemblies, diplomatic missions, consulates, etc.

 Over 500 m²

Commercial parking (covered or open-air): this is parking accessible to the public for a fee

 Over 24 spaces

Shops (including large specialist shops) and wholesalers

 Over 2,000 m²

Hotels

 Over 20 rooms

Property used for accommodation

 Over 1,000 m²

The decree concerning planning permission charges also determines works which are exempt from charges:

  • Creation of supported housing (housing accessible to those with low or medium incomes)
  • Creation of green spaces
  • Creation of parking
  • Creation of school, cultural, sports, social, health or worship/secular facilities
  • Conversion of offices into accommodation or facilities
  • Etc.

For other planning permit applications, the authority issuing the permit may request optional planning fees, but must always respect the principle or proportionality.

The government is entitled to ask the permit applicant to pay the fee in kind, or to pay a sum of money which will be used to fund infrastructure or public facilities.

Cash fee: payment of a sum of money

In the case of the payment of a sum of money, the minimum amounts imposed for permit applications subject to planning fees are as follows:

  • Offices: €125/m² (and €200/m² if the building's density is greater than the area's average, which is often the case for high-rise buildings).
  • Shops: €125/m²
  • Hotels: €90/m²
  • Accommodation: €50/m² (and €65/m² in some specific cases)
  • Commercial parking: €125/m²

However, these amounts may be reduced in certain cases: promotion of classified heritage buildings, fight against urban wasteland, buildings situated within the scope of a neighbourhood contract, etc.

Fee in kind: proposal from the applicant

The person applying for a planning permit for the works subject to planning fees may make a proposal to pay the fee in kind (completion of works) as part of his application.

For example, he may offer to create or renovate public spaces, roads, green spaces, facilities or supported housing.

This fee proposal must be clearly identified as such in the permit application documents, which include graphic documents.

What appeal options are there?

If you do not agree with the decision concerning the planning fees, you may lodge an appeal with the government against the planning permit decision which results in the planning fees.

Note: appeal boards examine the entire permit application file and may thus refuse the planning permit requested or impose new conditions.

Let's stay in touch

Join more than 25,000 subscribers and receive every fortnight in your mailbox our free newsletter (French or Dutch), packed with the latest news, fascinating testimonials, actionable advice and an overview of useful workshops and networking activities for entrepreneurs in Brussels !